New Emma to air on Masterpiece Classic…

Not exactly a huge surprise, but:

“WGBH Boston and BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution are to coproduce two major costume dramas, a sequel to Cranford and an adaptation of Austen’s Emma, for US network PBS.

Both Emma (4×60′) and Cranford 2 (2×60′) will make their US premieres in early 2010 on WGBH’s Masterpiece Classic strand on PBS.”


Emma 4 images…

From The Romola Garai Image Archive:  Some photos of Romola Garai and Jodhi May on location while filming Emma.

I thought I’d already posted this…

…but I’d actually posted the CASTING press release instead. So, for the sake of completeness, the official BBC Emma 4 press release!

Emma 4 – On Location

There’s a nice selection of behind-the-scenes photos from Emma 4‘s Chilham location posted at the Republic of Pemberley.  They provide a nice preview of some of the costuming!

Emma 4 filming in Chilham…

There’s video available at the Kentish Express, chronicling the transformation of Chilham into the village of Highbury!

Video: Chilham taken back in time for Jane Austen’s Emma

by Katie Alston

Charming Chilham has been taken back in time for the latest version of Jane Austen’s Emma.

The town square has been chosen as a backdrop for the costume drama which will be shown on BBC One in the autumn.

Keira Knightley’s best friend Romola Garai plays the leading lady, alongside Trainspotting’s Jonny Lee Miller and veteran actor Michael Gambon.

Crews arrived in the village last week to build sets and prepare the area for the start of filming on Tuesday.

They are expected to shoot in the square, in front of the local school, in the churchyard and at the village hall until Saturday.

The area has been transformed into an authentic 19th century setting, with gravel and straw hiding road markings, and burglar alarms being boxed in.

Horse and carts have replaced parked cars, and period costumes worn in place of jeans and jumpers.

With the square cut off from traffic, residents have been forced to leave their cars in the town’s lower carpark.

But to ease safety concerns, 24-hour security has been enlisted to patrol the area and police have assigned an officer to the shoot.

The film crew have also put in provisions to collect residents’ bins on rubbish day and have offered to carry shopping bags from the ca rpark at the bottom of the hill up to the front doors which are now backdrops to the romantic comedy.

Residents were sent letters telling them of filming plans back in January and no objections were raised.

Emma 4 Locations

Here’s an article from about Emma 4 locations:

BBC’s Emma to start filming in Chilham next week

Picturesque Chilham will provide the set for the BBC’s latest costume drama, a four-part serialisation of Jane Austen’s Emma.

Popular with location directors looking for a picture perfect English village, Chilham will stand in for the fictional village of Highbury in Surrey, the setting of Austen’s romantic comedy tale of matchmaking gone awry.

The large scale production, the latest in a series of popular period dramas commissioned by the BBC, will feature veteran actor Michael Gambon as Emma’s neurotic father, and Train Spotting star Johnny Lee Miller as Emma’s friend Mr Knightley.

The title role will be taken by Romola Garai, star of Atonement and Daniel Deronda, and the production also features Green Wing star Tamsin Greig.

The four day shoot starts in Chilham next week when a BBC film crew will transform several streets, the churchyard and the central square into a 19th century village.

A fountain will be constructed in the centre of the square, while roads including Taylor Hill, Church Hill and The Street will be laid with a gravel covering to hide the street markings, with all vehicles removed from the affected area.

Parish councillor Yvonne White said: “It’s very exciting. Chilham is quite often used for filming. Four years ago we had Agatha Christie team filming here, so people are used to a bit of inconvenience.

“But the BBC crews are very good. Generally they compensate people for their trouble and are very accommodating, and try not to disrupt village life too much. Everyone enjoys it really.

“The square is going to be closed to traffic because obviously it has to represent a picture perfect period village.”

First published in December 1815, Emma follows the fortunes of the eponymous heroine as she attempts to set up her friends in love matches that don’t always go to plan.

The novel has been adapted by award-winning writer Sandy Welch, who is responsible for a string of BBC hits including Our Mutual Friend, Jane Eyre, and North And South.

This production will be the first time Emma has been screened as a serialisation since the 1970s.

The novel’s last screen outings were both in 1996 when ITV made a single-episode drama, starring Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong, while Gwyneth Paltrow starred as Emma in an Oscar-nominated film version by Miramax the same year.

POSTED: 08/04/2009 06:00:00

More on Emma 4

Here’s the official casting press release from BBC.

For what it’s worth, there’s an IMDB page set up for the adaptation.  🙂

Laurel Ann has also posted a nice summary of information and opinions on this newest  “Emma” offering.

Various sources report that additional cast will include Tasmin Greig as Miss Bates, Jodhi May as Mrs. Weston, and Robert Bathurst as Mr. Weston.

So far, so good.

Emma 4 News…

From the Telegraph:

Romola Garai to play Emma in BBC’s latest Jane Austen adaptation

For years she has languished in her friend Keira Knightley’s shadow, but actress Romola Garai has finally attained leading lady status with the starring role in the BBC’s latest Jane Austen adaptation, a production of Emma.

By Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor
Last Updated: 1:32PM BST 04 Apr 2009

Romola Garai: BBC finds leading lady for final Jane Austen adaptation
British actress Romola Garai will play the heroine of Emma in a lavish BBC One costume drama to be screened in the autumn.

Garai will play the “handsome, clever and rich” heroine in a lavish BBC One costume drama to be screened in the autumn.

The 26-year-old was cast as Knightley’s younger sister in the Oscar-nominated film Atonement and the two actresses are firm friends. However, they have frequently found themselves in competition for the same roles. Knightley beat Garai to the part of Lara in ITV’s adaptation of Doctor Zhivago in 2002 and to Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice.

Emma will be Garai’s highest profile role to date after appearances in several television dramas, including Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle and George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda.

The daughter of a banker, she was raised in Hong Kong and Singapore before attending a boarding school in England. She is currently combining her acting work with studying for an Open University degree.

“I’m incredibly excited and honoured to be taking on the role of Emma, who is arguably Jane Austen’s greatest heroine. I’ve loved the book for many years and she is a character very close to my heart – so it’s a great privilege to now be playing her,” she said.

The high calibre cast of Emma includes Sir Michael Gambon as the matchmaking heroine’s doting father and Jonny Lee Miller as her suitor, Mr Knightley. Filming begins next week at locations in Kent and Surrey.

The BBC promises a “fresh, witty and perceptive take on a timeless tale” last serialised by the corporation in 1972 and turned into a Hollywood film starring Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996. It will be shown in four hour-long episodes and will be the BBC’s last Austen adaptation for several years, after executives decided to replace ‘bonnet dramas’ with a focus on the 20th century.

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